By Alex Stevens
Ronald Koeman was right to suggest that striker Romelu Lukaku needs to leave Everton to reach his full potential, according to two of the club’s fan groups.
Talking to Belgian paper HLN Koeman said the striker would need to move on to complete his career.
“Everton should normally not be the end for him,” Koeman said. “Romelu will not have made the most of his career if he plays for Everton for the remainder of his career.
“I think he can emulate Patrick Kluivert, who also rose to prominence at a young age and enjoyed a fantastic career. He eventually played for Barcelona and I can see Lukaku doing the same.”
Supporters were angry at the comments but, according to two prominent Everton fan groups, the manager got it spot on.
Talking to the BBC, George McKane, a founding member of the Everton Supporters’ Trust said Koeman was saying what a lot of supporters were thinking and that it could be a way of inflating his price if top clubs come calling.
“It makes a pleasant change for someone to tell the truth,” he said.
Dave Kelly, chairman of Blue Union doesn’t think Lukaku is at the level of a Champions League striker yet, but should have ambition.
“He should have ambition,” he said. “Why should Romelu Lukaku have any responsibility to stay at Everton? He’s not an Evertonian.
“There needs to be a statement of intent from our owner, that if clubs want to buy our players it will be on our terms and for top dollar.”
Lukaku was the subject of fevered speculation over the summer with strong links to Chelsea in a £65million plus Loic Remy deal, but Koeman persuaded the Belgium international to stay at Goodison Park.